Goalscorers: SRCA: Hughes (2), Hope, Horsley. AFC Newbiggin: not known.
This was a hastily arranged friendly, after Cramlington FC pulled out of the match scheduled for Tuesday as they only had seven fit players.
Newbiggin of the Northern Alliance came with a game plan: to disrupt the flowing, passing game of RCA and they did a very good job of doing so in the first half.
The first half was only notable for the number of freekicks awarded to RCA and the constant barracking of the referee by a number of Newbiggin players. The first half ended 0-0 and God only knows how there were still 11 v 11.
The start of the second half saw a marked improvement by RCA as the took advantage of the slope. They had a number of half chances before Davis pulled a ball back from the bye line into the path of Hughes who, unmarked, scored from eight yards out.
RCA extended their lead 10 minutes later when a corner by Hope was flicked on by Armstrong and volleyed home by Hughes. Like all strikers he claimed it under protest from Armstrong and Drysdale who also claimed it. Never mind 2 - 0.
The game once again degenerated into a kicking match, Newbiggin (18) going through the back of Proctor and Brown (RCA) putting in a poorly timed challenge which saw him immediately substituted.
Within two minutes Newbiggin were down to 10 men when the (18) kicked Drysdale in the back of the leg and was immediately red carded and a penalty awarded. Hope stepped up and blasted the penalty home.
The 10 men of Newbiggin actually started to play some good football at this point and thoroughly deserved their consolation goal which was a well worked move involving several players before the ball was released into the box and hammered home.
RCA completed the scoring in the final five minutes when Davis set up Horsley to fire into the roof of the net from six yards out.
Luckily, there were no reported serious injuries after the game. Drysdale's calf a little sore and Callen sore shins were the only slight injury worries and I am told that we will have everyone available for selection on Saturday.